Are YOU Going to the Carnival?

Do you know what is it like having a job in a carnival? Oh, it's something unforgettable!

American Carnival

Carnival is a special word in the American dictionary. I bet that you did not study it during your school years. Because the carnival is a specific American phenomenon similar to which would be difficult to find elsewhere. The carnival is a whole separate life.

Prefabricated Ferry's Wheel in a typical carnival This shark is inflated and blown away every day

To begin with we need to understand what the speech is about. "Carnivals" in the USA mean:
   1) a bright open show (for example, a carnival in Brazil);
   2) mobile parks of attractions that what I mean speaking about carnivals in this article In Europe the latter sometimes is called "A Moon Park". Well, remember, it is such a chain of shining trucks which parked somewhere at the open space and after a day it turned out to be a real amusement park? They always sold sweet cotton wool and bright balloons. So, we're talking just about such a park.

Classics - a Merry-go-round Cliff Hanger - just lay and relax

However, unlike the former USSR, where movable amusement parks were infrequent and "not local" (often they came from Czech, Poland, Romania), in America everything is vive versa. The carnival here is a part of culture, just like hot dog or Donald Duck. Every kid knows what a carnival is. No wonder! the quantity of these parks corresponds the popularity. For example, in the State of Michigan with the population of about 8,8 million people there're about 6 companies-carnivals.

Carnival Life

Well, the life in a carnival is a dream of the traveler. Park changes the location every week, moving from one platform to another. Is it necessary to say that sets do not repeat during the season? By the way, the working year of the carnival lasts from April till October. And during this period the mobile park is "on wheels", opening new and new places. I wish to tell to you as a skilled carnival worker it bewitches. The constant change of scenery settles a feeling of boundless freedom and nourish a spirit of the pioneer. What will be the following spot like? What people? What nature? How the celebration will go?..

A track for pulling the trailer International students' trailer

You've noticed the word "celebration", haven't you? Certainly. For carnival workers it's a daily work, but for park visitors - always a holiday. Especially for the youngest ones. Remember, how your parents drove you on days off to have fun on the rides. Was it less than happiness?

The view of the carnival at daytime …and in the night

Carnivals seldom drive "simply so". More often arrival of a mobile park is interfaced to any joyful event in a district: whether it is the Independence Day, the City Day or an agricultural fair. Believe me, occasion is not a problem. You can't imagine, how intensive the life of American province is! But no celebration can be done without a carnival. Therefore park and its workers - welcome guests in every American town.

They're Free as a Wind! Particular People

I need to tell separately about those who work in the carnivals. They are absolutely specific people. It is an outstanding phenomenon in the American society. There's even a special name for them carny (abbreviated from carnival).

Working days Setting the tent up

All carnies are irreconcilable romantics. They are people who cannot sit in stuffy offices or run across the labyrinths between skyscrapers when the soul is demanding freedom and life.

Carnival tenderness Experienced carny

Usually they do not pursue for notorious "American dream", preferring the freedom-loving spirit of hippie. However, the minority of carnies devoted themselves fully to such Gipsy style of life. More often young carnies satisfy the thirst of tramping and, coming up to their thirties, they settle somewhere, being turned into venerable American citizens.

I love my job! Russian working crew

So the carnival is the country of young, free, cynical, reckless romantics. There are laws, rules, delights and lacks - But there is a true life undoubtedly.

Your Expectations

I assure you: if you count on a job in the carnival - you will not lose. You'll be provided with the summer full of adventures and fascinating emotions. To dispel uncertainty I will tell you what expects the exchange student in the average American mobile amusement park.

The tent must me lighted Tilt a Whirl is considered to be the first American ride

Depending on your gender, you will work as ride operator (boys) or game operator in different entertainment sets such as darts, shooting galleries and so on (girls). Besides, you can occupy the positions of ticket sellers or food concessionaires. All the jobs are interesting in their own way. For example, I liked selling tickets the most, though it demanded considerable efforts.

Cashier's position   not easy, but interesting Every customer needs individual approach, even the youngest

Except your working on the basic positions, you'll be asked for a help during setting up and turning down. Do not worry, it not so is terrible, as it sounds. All constructions of the park are counted on manual labor. Besides, the longest and dreary deal is an assemblage and dismantling of the rides. But it is a super responsible process, you won't be allowed to do that being a non specialist. So the maximum of your duties will be rolling up the tent and dragging all the pieces in the truck.

Usually setting up occupies 7-8 hours (including rides installation), dismantling - 4-5 hours.

Work is in full swing They like students for being neat and accurate

The accommodation depends on generosity of the park owner. As a rule, it is a trailer (yes, such a small house on wheels) for 3-4 persons. There are no less than two rooms (with beds and cases), a bathroom (a toilet, a shower, a bowl), the equipped kitchen (a refrigerator, a gas cooker, a bowl, a table, dishes, a microwave). From the civilization blessings - gas (from a cylinder), cold and hot running water (are connected on each parking lot), conditioners or fans, heaters. Certainly, the electricity also presents. In general, it is a small flat, only on wheels. And - it is necessary to tell there's a huge advantage of having such an accommodation. 'Cause paying an apartment fee somewhere at Eastern coast will cost you an essential sum of your money. But renting your own "small house" in a carnival will take 15-20 dollars a week. It is absolute nothing the word of honor. Besides, you don't have to worry about a roof over the head.

A 2 person bedroom in the trailer The kitchen: refrigerator, table, microwave oven, stove, sink, dishes

The work schedule also depends on a concrete carnival. I can tell only that you will have everything: you will have days off, you will have two weeks of continuous work. It depends on how busy your carnival is. Usually the most free period is May-June, the most intensive - July-August.

The salary is paid once a week. It is a fixed rate (for a week) usually. Overtimes and awards are charged, but all these details should be specified with the concrete employer.

Alpen Fest, Gaylord, MI Fireworks in honour of the carnival's arrival
The workers are allowed to ride free of charge! Automobile Show in Linden, MI

International students are always welcomed in the carnivals. Employers like them for neatness and honesty, carnies - for width of soul and broad mind, visitors - for politeness and sincerity. International students like the carnivals in return. Because three months work in the American mobile park will ensure you the impressions for the whole next year. If not longer.


There is a variety of carnival vacancies presented at our website. These are the jobs id: 17, 29, 40, 48, 53, 62, 68, 78, 80, 82, 85, 90, 96, 110, 115, 175, 192, 201, 236, 335, 345. The availability of the position you can define more precisely in the total job offers list following the link.